Dec 19, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Jabari Parker (1) celebrates with Duke Blue Devils forward Rodney Hood (5) after scoring against the UCLA Bruins during the second half at Madison Square Garden. The Blue Devils won 80-63. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Rodney Hood lifts Utah Jazz past Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks

There was a rookie out of Duke University playing in tonight’s Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks summer league contest, who everyone expected to go out and dominate during the game. That Duke player did just that, however, it wasn’t the Duke player that everyone expected.

Jabari Parker was the talk of all media heading into Monday night’s game, but it was Rodney Hood who stepped up and shot lights out. Hood went off for a game high 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the floor, and an outstanding 7-of-10 from beyond the three point line.

The offensive output for Hood was great to see, as he came out in his summer league opener and struggled mightily. On Saturday night, Hood also put up 10 shots from downtown, however, he only connected on one of those shots and looked to have his confidence rattled a bit. His confidence was anything but rattled tonight.

As for Parker, his game was solid, but Hood took the spotlight from him. Parker finished with 14 points, while his counterpart, Giannis Antetokounmpo, finished with a team high 15 points.

As good as Hood was, the majority of his points came in the second half. As for the first half, it was the Rudy Gobert show.

Gobert had 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 blocks at halftime. Gobert rarely seen the court in the second half, other than at the start of the third quarter. With that being said, he still finished with a very solid stat line of 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 blocks in 23 minutes of play.

Heading into the game, the focus was mainly on Parker and Jazz rookie, Dante Exum. The stat line may not show it, but Exum followed up his solid summer league opener with another fantastic outing. Exum finished the game with 6 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists, however, with Hood taking over the game, there wasn’t much need for his scoring. Exum was very good with the ball in his hands once again, and after watching him after two games, his court vision and passing ability is far better than anyone could have known.

One thing that the Jazz could be looking forward to once the regular season starts, is that they have two guards that can not only score when needed, but can both pass the ball and rebound well. Trey Burke has been criticized for being an undersized point guard, however, he finished the game with six rebounds, which was tied for second most on the team.

There was a good feeling among Jazz fans on Monday night. Most seemed excited to see what the future holds with this young core that the Jazz front office has put together. Like the Jazz front office, Jazz fans are hoping that they can see another great performance from the young core as the Jazz take on the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. MST.

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Tags: Dante Exum Giannis Antetokounmpo Jabari Parker NBA Summer League Rodney Hood Rudy Gobert Trey Burke Utah Jazz

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